‘Hulu for Magazines’ Coming to Android Phones, Tablets in Early 2011

There’s an interesting little read over on All Things D today that says Android tablets and phones will be first to offer a “Hulu for Magazines” service next year.  According to sources, Google’s mobile OS will get the jump on iOS devices (iPad, iPhone), but not because of hardware limitations.  Instead, it appears to boil down to willingness to work hand-in-hand.  Currently Apple keeps all data on a customer should they opt for a subscription to a magazine, which makes it difficult to market to or cater to a set demographic.

Magazines and corporations are having a tough time trying to come up with compelling enough business models that balance price and features in a way that users will flock to them.  Time Warner’s CEO recently made somewhat vague comments about digital magazines that are much clearer when held up against the new “Hulu for Magazines” model.  I’ve long felt that if I subscribed to a magazine’s print edition, I should be entitled to their digital version at a discounted rate, if not free.  As much as I like WIRED’s iPad app/magazine, I might sometimes prefer a full-on PDF edition with full color graphics.

What is your take on digital magazines? I’d like to hear from you in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr

  • Quentin Dewolf

    I like the idea that you subscribe to a magazine and you get access to the full library of back issues (at least a year back) like http://www.autosport.com/ does. I think of digital magazines as an organized and designed presentation of content that happened since the last issue. Magazines are more designed than a website and more timely than a book. they also tend to hive high quality images. I dislike some of the current trend towards digital magazines having interactive content or video as this should be on the site not the magazine.
    Newspapers/news magazines are a completely different story. they are more like a daily and weekly emails with more design and content. Including interactivity and video soes make sense here as news lends itself well to video clips and falsh explanations.

  • Elvis

    I think they are great and convenient and should be encouraged… the only downside being ability to pirate :/

  • googler

    Nook Color is better for reading than iPad and better for everything else than Kindle. Nook Color is better for $249. Nook Color screen is supposed to be better (less reflective) for reading than iPad thanks to new LG screen with anti-reflection coating. It allows to watch videos, listen to the music, view Office documents and PDF’s. The Nook Color will not run apps straight out of the Android Market, but that does not mean it cannot run them. In fact, they have done a lot of tests on apps from standard Android smartphones and they pretty much run on Nook Color, which has Android 2.1 under the hood. (The Nook native interface and apps are just standard Android application layers.) Barnes & Noble special Nook SDK runs on top of the standard Android one and gives developers access to exclusive extensions and APIs for the Nook and its interface. So porting Android apps is not difficult. B&N says it is more like optimising them for Nook than porting them. If you prefer e-Ink screen, the original Nook is still available from BN.

  • Joe